Applications closed

Request for proposals on agent-based user interaction simulation to find and fix integrity and privacy issues


Software systems increasingly support communities of users who interact through the platform, elevating the importance and impact of research on integrity and privacy. How do we ensure that such communities remain safe and their data remains private?

To tackle these challenges, Facebook is undertaking research and development on a Web Enabled Simulation (WES) system called WW. WW is a multiagent simulation that trains agents (bots) using automated learning and optimization to simulate the social behavior of a range of good and bad actors. The simulation aims to automatically find and fix integrity and privacy issues.

In this call, we are particularly interested in research work that tackles these challenges and that could also lead to collaboration with our WW project. More details, including open research problems and challenges we hope to tackle in partnership with the scientific community, can be found in the keynote paper on the WES agenda and WW project.

To foster further innovation in this area, and to deepen our collaboration with academia, Facebook is pleased to invite faculty to respond to this call for research proposals pertaining to the topics below. We anticipate awarding 3–8 awards, each in the $50,000 range. Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university as an unrestricted gift.

Award Recipients

Monash University

Aldeida Aleti

University of Technology Sydney

Ling Chen

Michigan State University

Kalyanmoy Deb

Polytechnique Montréal

Marcelin Joanis

Central Queensland University

Pak Lok Poon

North Carolina State University

Munindar P. Singh

University of Michigan

Michael P. Wellman

University of Utah

R. Michael Young

Applications Are Currently CLosed

Application Timeline

Notifications will be sent by email to selected applicants by August 2020.

Launch Date

May 26, 2020


July 15, 2020

Winners Announced

September 2020

Areas of Interest

Topics of interest for this RFP include (but are not limited to):

  • AI-assisted gameplay
  • Causal inference
  • Evolutionary computation
  • Game theory, graph theory
  • Information theory
  • Machine learning
  • Multiagent systems
  • Predictive modeling
  • Programming languages
  • Search-based software engineering
  • Simulation
  • Software repository mining
  • Software resting (in particular, social testing)


Proposals should include

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages) explaining the area of focus, a description of techniques, any relevant prior work, and a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes.
  • A draft budget description (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent
  • Curriculum Vitae for all project participants.
  • Organization details; this will include tax information and administrative contact details


  • Awards must comply with applicable U.S. and international laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Applicants must be current full-time faculty at an accredited academic institution that awards research degrees to PhD students.
  • Applicants must be the Principal Investigator on any resulting award.
  • Facebook cannot consider proposals submitted, prepared or to be carried out by individuals residing in, or affiliated with an academic institution located in, a country or territory subject to comprehensive U.S. trade sanctions.
  • Government officials (excluding faculty and staff of public universities, to the extent they may be considered government officials), political figures, and politically affiliated businesses (all as determined by Facebook in its sole discretion) are not eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Terms & Conditions

Facebook’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to Facebook RFP solicitations, including whether or not to grant an award and the interpretation of Facebook RFP Terms and Conditions. By submitting a proposal, applicants affirm that they have read and agree to these Terms and Conditions.

  • Facebook is authorized to evaluate proposals submitted under its RFPs, to consult with outside experts, as needed, in evaluating proposals, and to grant or deny awards using criteria determined by Facebook to be appropriate and at Facebook’s sole discretion. Facebook’s decisions will be final in all matters relating to its RFPs, and applicants agree not to challenge any such decisions.
  • Facebook will not be required to treat any part of a proposal as confidential or protected by copyright, and may use, edit, modify, copy, reproduce and distribute all or a portion of the proposal in any manner for the sole purposes of administering the Facebook RFP website and evaluating the contents of the proposal.
  • Personal data submitted with a proposal, including name, mailing address, phone number, and email address of the applicant and other named researchers in the proposal may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used by Facebook for the purposes of administering Facebook’s RFP website, evaluating the contents of the proposal, and as otherwise provided under Facebook’s Privacy Policy.
  • Neither Facebook nor the applicant is obligated to enter into a business transaction as a result of the proposal submission. Facebook is under no obligation to review or consider the proposal.
  • Feedback provided in a proposal regarding Facebook products or services will not be treated as confidential or protected by copyright, and Facebook is free to use such feedback on an unrestricted basis with no compensation to the applicant. The submission of a proposal will not result in the transfer of ownership of any IP rights.
  • Applicants represent and warrant that they have authority to submit a proposal in connection with a Facebook RFP and to grant the rights set forth herein on behalf of their organization. All awards provided by Facebook in connection with this RFP shall be used only in accordance with applicable laws and shall not be used in any way, directly or indirectly, to facilitate any act that would constitute bribery or an illegal kickback, an illegal campaign contribution, or would otherwise violate any applicable anti-corruption or political activities law.
  • Awards granted in connection with RFP proposals will be subject to terms and conditions contained in the unrestricted gift agreement (or, in some cases, other mechanisms) pursuant to which the award funding will be provided. Applicants understand and acknowledge that they will need to agree to these terms and conditions to receive an award.